The Wild Coast – Olympic National Park, Washington

I’ve been spending a massive amount of time on the Olympic Peninsula lately. Last weekend we backpacked a few days into the rain forest to capture the streams and lush greens that spring brings to this part of the country.

Here is a quick video I took with my Nexus 5 this past weekend while hiking in the rain forest. If you listen closely you can hear a bunch of bird noises in the back ground. Click 1080P for best resolution:)

The Behind the Scenes shot shown below was taken from the same location as my Portfolio image ( included at the bottom of this blog post ) after the moon had risen a bit more. This particular weekend the weather was really nice so I threw my hammock in the trees right by the fire. With the waves crashing, and a nice breeze coming off the ocean, it was unbeatable.

Our camp fire burns as the moon illuminates the Pacific waters of Olympic National Parks Wild Coast.
Camping on the Pacific Coast / Taken at very high ISO, hand held, just after midnight.

The Shot
I’ve been scouting this location for a while, trying to get something new and unique as there are a ton of great shots from the beach seen in the foreground. This time of year The Milky Way rises in the South late in the evening. This still wouldn’t really give off enough light to illuminate the awesome landscape of the Pacific Coast.

Just the right soft light was necessary to show off all the small details and sea stacks cover the coast in this region of the country. After an attempt early in the year with a crescent moon there still wasn’t enough light.

Going back to the same location again with a 96% moon seemed to do the trick. As the moon rose from the East ( just out of the top left corner of this photo ), it lit up most of the landscape and threw some amazing shadows over everything else. The colors were soft, and a light fog / mist from the ocean’s surf started to cover the coast line. Multiple exposures were taken to experiment with exposure time, and the effect that these exposure times had on the color and feel / texture of the water.

Finally everything came together… an almost silvery moon glow coming off the ocean in the immediate foreground, a soft haze rising from the coast as it fades into the background, and the over all dreamy feel that the Pacific Coast provides at night, under a nearly full moon. 

Solace – Xingping, China

After a month intermission from the website, internet and business side of photography I’m back in action. There’s nothing better than a nice long break to clear the mind. Over the break I was fortunate enough to visit Norway, Sweden, New York City, and Oregon.

The main goal of visiting Norway and Sweden was to step foot inside the Arctic Circle and see the Northern Lights. To do so we Flew into Kiruna, Sweden and rented a car. From there we took 10 days and drove over 2000 miles around the Fjords and into Norway. Due to a stagnant weather system with clouds that constantly followed us we kept an eye on the weather, finally finding some clear skies and the Aurora. Out of the entire trip we were able to see the light 3 times, all of which had some pretty nice activity.

I’ve included a few “snapshots” that I took while traveling below as well as a video. Currently the portfolio shots are in work and I’ll be posting a few in the coming weeks.

Beautiful Sunset in the Arctic
Sunset in Northern Norway
Coastal Mountains, Norway
Foggy Afternoon along the Norwegian Coastline
69 degrees North, Norway
Massive Peaks at 68 Degrees North
Reine, Norway
Reine Norway
Shooting Above Hong Kong
A Random Shot the Paul Weeks Just Gave Me. Taken in Hong Kong

The Shot
After returning from my trips I was really to get back on the computer and start post processing some shots. This shot comes from one of the best places I’ve ever traveled to, Xingping, China. We set out early one morning while it was still dark to take some shots of the fisherman at sunrise. After venturing up the Lijiang River in the dark/mist/rain the sun popped out for a few seconds and allowed us time to get some good shots.

Sounds of the City – San Francisco, CA

Are there any web sharpening gurus out there? It’s really nice to be able to share photos online and have them look exactly like they do on your computer screen at home. Unfortunately most sites compress your uploaded photos down to a maximum size which in turn really degrades the image. Due to this fact I find myself uploading to most social media sites at a maximum of 900 pixels wide lately, although I would really like to upload much bigger, say 2048 pixels wide.

The only place I really upload full size anymore is to Smugmug which holds my photo portfolio. They have some pretty good web functionality that sharpens your picture depending on the size at which it’s being viewed. This allows me to upload my full resolution image and still get pretty good results no matter what size I view it at. I have noticed even Smugmug’s sharpening is not quite as sharp as the real thing as viewed on my computers screen. If you have Smugmug you can turn on this functionality by going into your gallery settings and changing the sharpening amount from 0.200 to 0.400. That seems to do the trick, at least for me. That being said, if you really want to view my pictures in full detail instead of viewing them on this page, go ahead and click the picture below to see it over in my portfolio.

I personally love using TK Actions Web Sharpening Tools ( select “Special Offers” upon clicking the link to pick up a copy of your own ) to get my photos ready to post online. I recently found a video Sean Bagshaw posted about using these actions that’s really informative for anyone that wants to give it a shot.

The Shot
This is one of those iconic locations that everyone seems to have a shot of. Usually I stray away from this sort of location, but once in a while it’s fun to give them a run. We had a tricky time getting down there and encountered some signs and warnings along the way, but none the less here is one of the shots I came away with…